Lasting Impact of Study Abroad Experiences: A Collaborative Autoethnography

Researchers in the field of study abroad have focused on language, identity construction, and motivation, yet few studies have shown its lasting impact on participants. This article contains the reflections of two individuals who took part in studies abroad and remain engaged in multicultural education and in the instruction and research of second language acquisition. We review the literature in the area of study abroad, then discuss the suitability of using a collaborative autoethnography (CAE) approach, defined as “the study of self collectively” for this project. We analyzed our data, which are in the form of reflective narratives and archived e-mails, through open coding, based on grounded theory methodology. Four major themes surfaced from our data analysis: language and culture; academics; identity; and lasting impact. Finally, we compare our experiences, identify some of the lasting effects of our time abroad, and consider both the practical and theoretical implications of the research. This research has been useful for us to understand CAE and the lasting effects of study abroad experiences on students who become language teachers.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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